CPaaS, or Communications Platform as a Service, is a cloud-based communications platform that allows developers to customize and add to existing software or applications. As a multichannel platform, it offers turnkey communications capabilities such as voice calls, SMS messaging, video conferencing to name a few. These are all added to your customers’ software without the need for additional backend infrastructure or expensive hardware.
It’s so useful that the CPaaS market is slated to be valued at over $26 billion by 2026. And while that all sounds great, surely there are some cons along with the CPaaS pros? Of course, there are! But before we dive into them, let’s review CPaaS a little deeper.
CPaaS: A Quick Definition
If you are toying with the idea of adding CPaaS to your offerings, you may be wondering exactly what CPaaS is. CPaaS is a communications platform that lets the user work with the provider to build on existing communications applications and software.
CPaaS is a great option for those customers that have existing contracts and systems in place. Because of the flexibility of CPaaS, your customers can slowly add communications features and services as needed.
Therefore, customers only pay for the features and functions they need.
The best part of CPaaS is that the platform has the ability to come packed with all the features your customers could possibly want. Voice calls, video conferencing, instant messaging, and SMS messaging are all available options with CPaaS.
But how does it work? Through APIs and SDKs!
What is an API?
Imagine you’re building an app but need some new features. The API is like the translator that lets your existing application speak with another external one and expand its functionality through different APIs or “building blocks.” For example, let’s say you want to add in-app chat to your application. In order to do that, you’ll need to find and utilize a chat API.
What is an SDK?
An SDK (software development kit), on the other hand, is a prebuilt suite of software development tools that makes it possible to create these applications. With the help of an SDK, developers can use pre-made code to create software.
A major difference between APIs and SDKs is that APIs allow access and the use of certain features or functionality from different sources such as individual programs, websites etc., while an SDK contains code along with other rules when integrating additional features into your app.
CPaaS Pros and Cons
Now that we have touched on what exactly CPaaS is and how it works, let’s get to the CPaaS pros and cons. There are many aspects of CPaaS that make it the perfect fit for all businesses, small to large. However, we would be remiss if we did not discuss any of the cons of CPaaS. Some CPaaS pros and cons include:
- Customizable – Users choose a-la-carte the communications channels they would like to add.
- Scalable – CPaaS is very easily scalable, as users can add features as needed.
- Easily Integrated – Compatible with several coding languages.
- Increases customer service capabilities without a complete overhaul.
- Latency – If too many APIs are added, latency can be an issue.
- Needs a pre-built application to work properly.
- Creating custom applications is not for the faint-hearted. You need to be able to code to create successful software!
CPaaS Pros and Cons by Use Case
No matter how much a business wants to grow, they need the right tools for success. CPaaS can provide these invaluable resources. Let’s look at some of the industries that could benefit the most from CPaaS. We’ll also examine the pros and cons of CPaaS for each industry.
Traditional communications between school and students or guardians is limited to voice calls. But that eats into a lot of time for superintendents, principals, receptionists, teachers, and after-school program leaders. Instead of just one channel, with CPaaS, you can sell more communications channels for your customers in the education industry.
CPaaS pros and cons for educators are straightforward. If your educator customers are not ready to start using more communication channels, they aren’t ready for CPaaS yet. If, however, they are asking about messaging capabilities or video conferencing solutions but are not ready to replace their existing system, CPaaS is the right play.
Healthcare decision-makers can save money by choosing which features they would like to incorporate into their system and leaving the ones they don’t want. They are in control and CPaaS provides an easy way for them to accomplish this! As you discuss adding new functionality with your healthcare prospects and customers, make sure your clients understand how scalable the platform really is.
The pros and cons of CPaaS for the healthcare industry are rather similar to those in the education industry. A complete communications system overhaul can be too intimidating for decision-makers to get full approval. This is where CPaaS can help those in healthcare slowly add advanced communications features without tackling an entire overhaul.
A con of CPaaS for healthcare providers is that it’s akin to a Band-Aid. While you’re adding functionality, there’s still the old, underlying system you’re adding onto. On the flip side, this opens the door for you to be the first provider they think of when approaching their complete system upgrade.
Call centers wanting to move to an omnichannel center will be delighted with CPaaS and the ability to easily add communications channels on top of their existing setup. As you very well may know, adding chat functionality, video conferencing, and SMS/MMS messaging lend themselves to a better overall customer experience. When customer service representatives can meet customers where they want to be reached, the entire tone of the conversation starts off on a better foot.
Besides avoiding an entire system overhaul, there really aren’t cons and there are only pros for CPaaS in the customer service industry. The fact remains that the world is moving to omnichannel, your call center customers would be wise to add CPaaS features to their toolbelt.
What should you look for in a CPaaS provider?
Ensure that the communications platform you’re evaluating offers a wide variety of APIs with which you can build the features and functionality necessary to meet all customer needs.
Remember, in addition to considering any functionalities or new channels for communication on the go (like social media chat integrations), think about omnichannel capabilities such as authentication tokens so your customers are always secure.
You should also pay attention to the provider’s network infrastructure, such as guaranteed uptime and data center location. Research how they monitor connections for you to make sure that your application will have an uninterrupted service.
Finally, research their user community. An active community means you will have the resources and brainpower necessary to help you problem-solve issues or build new APIs. Being a part of an active user community also means that you will have the opportunity to gain valuable insights into what you can do with your new CPaaS platform.
Partner With NUSO
Each CPaaS provider you evaluate will have its own pros and cons, you’ll need to weigh each one to see what’s most important to your business and your customers. When you partner with NUSO, you’re unlocking our award-winning platform, in addition to our powerful network that allows you to deliver your customers the service they deserve.
If you find you need a little help, reach out to NUSO – we love talking about CPaaS!